Many Americans see January 1 as the traditional time for making resolutions. But in reality, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. People are coming off of an exhausting, demanding holiday period, and probably need rest more than they need to dive in on rigorous resolutions. Instead, consider the traditional start of the academic year as a good time to set goals. Here are five reasons why:

  1. SCHEDULES ARE SET, ALLOWING FOR MORE REALISTIC PLANNING.
    For those without kids, summer vacation may have just consisted of a week or two of travel or a staycation, but otherwise you’re already fully in the swing of work. For those with kids, fall means the children are back in school and establishing routines. Your schedule is set, whether you work outside the home or at home. Either way, this is a prime opportunity to analyze your free time and weigh it against the goals you want to achieve. You can map out the hours you have available and set aside time to focus on your goals.
  2. PEOPLE RARELY VACATION IN THE FALL.
    Too many times, if there is something we’re looking forward to, like a vacation or a holiday that takes precedence over our goals. But when fall comes around, many people have already taken vacations, and those with kids are likely to stay home to adapt to the new school year. There are no major surprises to your schedule, and you can carve out the time you need without the threat of vacation sabotage.
  3. IT’S GETTING COLDER.
    Think about how you feel at the onset of spring, when it gets warmer outside while the days get longer. You want to be outside. But when those temps begin to drop and the sun sets earlier and earlier, it’s easier to move inside and dedicate yourself to your goals.
  4. IT’S THE PERFECT TIME FOR REFLECTION.
    By October, we’re in the 10th month of the year, which is a good point to look at what’s ahead for the remainder of the year. What’s been accomplished so far? What were the successes? The failures? What lessons have we learned from it all? In the fall, we’re in the perfect position to take stock of our lives. Grab a piece of hot apple pie and a nice cup of coffee and start contemplating the future you want to have.
  5. YOU’RE GETTING A JUMP-START ON THE YEAR AHEAD.
    Going back to New Year’s, 80% of resolutions fail because they’re made on the spot. Most people only think about resolutions two days before the New Year arrives. By thinking about your goals in the fall, you’re giving yourself nearly three months of deep thought and planning. You have time to go over different scenarios, figure out the bumps and roadblocks you’ll face, and map out a realistic, step-oriented plan. Even better, now you’ve planned a whole year’s time that you can dedicate to achieving your goals.

What is the role of education in goal achievement? When we think about big goals, they usually involve a major change. If your goal centers on leveling up in your work or switching careers entirely, a degree can help make it possible. With Strayer University operating on quarters, the fall is the perfect time to talk with a counselor, student services coach, or admissions officer. They can help you design a plan that will fit school into your schedule, so that by winter quarter, you’ll be learning what you need to accomplish your goals.

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